Canadian Premium Sand to build solar glass factory in city of Selkirk

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Canadian Premium Sand (CPS) has decided to build a solar glass manufacturing facility in the Canadian city of Selkirk in the province of Manitoba.

The company said Selkirk was chosen because it provided “logistical, operational efficiency and environmental advantages” over alternatives.

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The facility will produce high specification patterned solar glass using a rolled manufacturing process, with the products predominantly to be used for the manufacturing of solar modules in North America.

“CPS believes its glass manufacturing facility will be the anchor industry for an expanding centre of excellence, enabling other complementary businesses to locate in Manitoba,” said the company.

Selkirk also met CPS’ key selection criteria, which included proximity to its high-grade silica sand quarry near Hollow Water First Nation roughly 160km north of Selkirk, access to “abundant and cost-efficient” supplies of natural gas, renewable hydrogen and industrial grade water, good access to end markets through rail and road and a “sizeable labour pool” that covers semi-skilled workers up to management positions.

“It is difficult to imagine a better location than the City of Selkirk and the Province of Manitoba for our solar glass manufacturing facility based on the criteria we set,” said Glenn Leroux, president and CEO of CPS.

CPS said the site also offered industrial zoned land parcels of sufficient size to accommodate the initial manufacturing facility with room to accommodate growth for future facilities.

Concerns over glass pricing sent tremors throughout the sector in November 2020 and while prices for that material have since stabilised, there has been a mounting focus on the cost of raw materials following the surging cost of polysilicon.

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